Nevada Receives 100 Cannabis Lounge Applications, Predicts Opening Early 2023

Nevada has taken another step toward becoming the first state with a solidly functioning cannabis consumption lounge industry.

Nevada has taken another step toward becoming the first state with a solidly functioning cannabis consumption lounge industry that allows businesses both sell cannabis and have visitors smoke on-site.

The state Cannabis Compliance Board announced Monday on Twitter that it had received a total of 100 consumption lounge applications before the submission window closed on Oct. 27. The agency wrote that it “anticipates the first lounges to be licensed and able to open in early 2023.”

The board reported that 20 licensed cannabis companies applied for lounge permits, along with another 50 stand-alone independent entities, and another 30 that applied as eligible social equity entrepreneurs.

“Per state law, the CCB may issue 20 independent cannabis consumption lounge licenses, half of which are designated for social equity applicants,” the CCB wrote in a press release.

The board added that it “anticipates conducting two drawings via a random number selector in early December to determine” which applicants will win the 20 independent lounge permits.

The 20 already-licensed retailers that applied likely will receive lounge permits as long as they meet all required criteria.

The Nevada lounge model is a national first for the cannabis industry. Other states that allow consumption lounges don’t permit such companies to also sell cannabis the way bars sell alcohol to patrons.

Lounges, to date, typically have relied on revenue streams such as cover charges or membership fees, while requiring visitors to bring their own cannabis with them, which has made the lounge sector a tough one for entrepreneurs to crack. The Nevada model could lead to more niche industry development in other states.

John Schroyer


Agrify

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